The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court today directed the Dalmia Cements to pay a compensation of Rs one lakh each (approx US$2200) to the families of 13 labourers who died in a mishap while undertaking an expansion work at its factory in Dalmiapuram in Tamil Nadu on May 28, but refused to interfere with the environment clearance given for the work.
Passing orders on a batch of public interest litigations against the expansion work, a division bench comprising K P Sivasubramaniam and Justice S K Krishnan held that the factory had violated the rules by undertaking the expansion work even before proper permission was granted.
"If the court did not recommend action against violators that would reflect on the judiciary. A wrong impression would gain that rich people can violate any rule.. and could take up work even without permission," they said and directed the company to pay Rs one lakh to the families of the deceased. This would be apart from routine "legal compensation". The mishap occurred on May 28 when a roof under construction crumbled, killing 13 persons and injuring 19.